Mental Health Awareness Week is taking place in the UK, and to observe the occasion, Princess Kate met with teenagers in Bath, England to talk about the challenges that young people face today. Wearing a blazer by LK Bennett in a bright yellow—the color adopted by some mental health awareness groups in the country—Kate spent the afternoon at the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust along with Zara McDermott, a TV presenter and campaign champion for Kate’s early childhood initiative, Shaping Us. 

The youth development and mental health charity was founded by Dame Kelly Holmes, a British former Olympian who medaled twice at the 2004 Summer Games in Athens, and was on hand to give Kate a tour on Tuesday. Kate also spoke to students from the nearby St. Katherine’s School in Bristol, who are being mentored by Paralympic swimmer Liz Johnson and joined in on a beanbag toss game.

Holmes told the Daily Mail about Kate’s conversations with the students, including a comment about finding public speaking difficult. ”They were just asking her about being a royal. Was it something that she wanted to do? And she said she had to learn,” Holmes said. ”‘It’s a struggle to know that you can be accepted and fit in and you are still learning every day.’ Doing public speaking isn’t a natural thing for lots of people is it? And she was saying she is still working that out but has to project. So you know again, she humanized everything. Not everyone is perfect.”

In January, the Royal Foundation Center for Early Childhood launched Shaping Us, a new initiative focused on raising awareness about the importance of brain development for children under five. Though the project, founded in 2021 under the umbrella of the foundation Kate shares with her husband, Prince William, has focused mainly on younger children, Kate has also emphasized the importance of maternal mental health and the effects that early experiences can have on the rest of a person’s life.

After the event, McDermott told people.com/royals/kate-middleton-mental-health-awareness-week-visit-students-dame-kelly-holmes-trust/”>People that she was in awe of Kate’s ability to engage with new people. “She’s one of those people who just loves to get stuck in,” McDermott said. “She’s so personable and a real inspiration. She’s a really strong, driven woman who really wants to make a difference. That showed in the interactions with the girls.”


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